Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: As the infectious coronavirus continues to take lives in China, the State Health department on Friday issued guidelines for schools as a preventive measure.

The guidelines were issued after Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan held a meeting with different ministries, departments and States through video conferencing to review their preparedness for prevention and management on novel coronavirus.

The Health department has directed school authorities to create awareness among students during prayer session on adopting personal hygiene like use of hand sanitisers, covering face with handkerchief while coughing and sneezing.

“Fever, cough and difficulty in breathing are the symptoms of coronavirus. Currently, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for coronavirus infections. So prevention is better than cure,” the advisory reads.

The Block Education Officers (BEOs) and District Education Officers (DEOs) have been asked to review implementation of the precautionary measures in schools.

Special Secretary of Health department, Dr Hara Patnaik said the situation is under control in Odisha and adequate measures have been taken at airport and ports.

“The situation is quite under control in the State. There is no positive case in Odisha so far. And we are keeping a close watch on all them who are coming from outside the country particularly from China and Hong Kong,” said Patnaik.

Speaking about the advisory, Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET), CBK Mohanty said, “The School and Mass Education (S&ME) department has been asked to issue advisory for schools directing authorities to take immediate measures for treatment if any child is affected by cough and develop any other symptoms.”

He further said that there is no need to panic as the coronavirus affliction among children is close to zero which is evident from China.